Fawn Parker – Co-founder and Poetry Editor
Fawn Parker is the author of Set-Point (ARP, 2019), Jolie Laide (Palimpsest, 2021), and Dumbshow (ARP, 2021). She is co-founder of BAD NUDES Magazine, BAD BOOKS, and president of The Parker Agency. Her story “FEED MACHINE” was longlisted for the McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize.
Thomas Molander – Co-founder and Fiction Editor
Thomas Molander has an MA in English and Creative Writing from Concordia University, where he won the 2020 David McKeen award for fiction. He’s a co-founder and fiction editor of BAD NUDES magazine and BAD BOOKS press, and is finishing up his first novel, Rumble Hill.
Sandy Spink – Co-founder and Graphic Designer
Sandy Spink is a developer/designer who works for mega corps (Skynet) during the day and revels in various unpaid side projects (Bad Nudes) by night.
Tell us a bit about your press. How did you start? Who are your influences, in Canada and beyond? What is your mission?
Once we got to a place with BAD NUDES Magazine that felt comfortable and sustainable, we wanted to branch out into longer-form works by some of the authors published in the magazine. Our first catalogue consisted of Joshua Chris Bouchard and MLA Chernoff, who both were in the first couple issues of BAD NUDES. So in that way our influence for small publishing was the overall feel of the magazine. The way the magazine and the books look is all thanks to Sandy, who is responsible for layout and design. Our mission is to publish full-length books by the authors we resonate with most, and often we have a personal relationship with them as well. Growing beyond a local/community project has never been our aim.
What about small press publishing is particularly exciting to you right now?
Right now we are seeing a surge in small publishing and even self-publishing. It is great to see initiatives pushing for more diversity, more time spent listening and learning. We have been seeing a change in the long and short lists for prizes and awards in terms of whose work is being highlighted, and I think it all comes down to the juries. Fewer juries made up of one type of person means fewer long lists made up of one type of person.
How does your press work to engage with your immediate literary community, and community at large?
We’ve always tried to keep things personal and intimate. We like to host events and get to know our readers community. The best part of any of our launches has always been hanging out with everyone afterwards, and matching faces to poems or stories.
Tell us about three of your publications. What makes them special, needed, and/or unique?
All three of the books below are special to us in their own ways. Joshua’s book for example features his photos in addition to his poetry, which really feels right for the collection. A story I’ve (Fawn) told probably too many times is that in edits we ended up cutting every instance of the word “please” in Josh’s poems, and even in his title, because the book really felt like it otherwise didn’t have a single word out of place. Every line is so careful and critical.
MLA is such an exciting writer, and they bring this fantastic energy to the page. That’s why putting their headshot on the cover really felt right. delet this is so intelligent and hilarious, it’s easy to feel like half the references are going straight over your head, but that’s what makes it such a cool book. You can really read it over again and notice easter eggs you may have missed the first time.
We felt really lucky to publish Jordan’s collection, because he seems like someone who was just born to write stories. For lack of a more nuanced comparison, he sits somewhere between George Saunders and Donald Barthelme—hilarious, imaginative, and intelligent. Reading through his table of contents alone says a lot about what is inside.
How have the current multiple global crises impacted your work with the press?
We’ve taken an indefinite break. A major part of our press and magazine has always been our connection to our community. Without the launches, without having writers sleeping on our couches, it just isn’t the same. We’ll never stop doing versions of what we’ve always done, but we could never have done what we did without the people who read, support, and inspire us.
Let This Be The End of Me
Joshua Chris Bouchard
Clicking Into Place